One Sydney suburb has found itself at the epicentre of food chatter, with a posse of hatted chefs and emerging restaurateurs opening new venues there, as well as generating one of the juiciest restaurant rumours of 2020. No, it isn't Chippendale or Marrickville. Cast your eyes toward the clean streets of Double Bay.
The Pallas House development, next door to the Royal Oak Hotel, has had the eat streets rumour mill in overdrive. Chef Damien Monley, who previously owned Flat White Cafe up the hill in Woollahra before creating a mini food empire in the southern highlands, confirmed to Good Food he will open a yet-to-be-named venue at Pallas House.
Monley has taken the site facing Guilfoyle Park, but the word has centred on Neil Perry, who has been linked with a French brasserie potentially headed in next door. The veteran chef says he isn't involved at the site (but he is looking for permanent premises for Hope Delivery if there are any altruistic landlords in Sydney).
Up the hill from Pallas House, building work is under way at a giant Mexican restaurant-bar on Bay Street we can reveal is backed by restauranteur Ussi Moniz da Silva, who this year opened Meu Jardim, the city restaurant with a waterfall, firepit, French food and a 3am licence.
"We'll open in Double Bay late November, it'll be called Sinaloa," the restaurateur says. Sinaloa is name of both a state (from where its menu will draw inspiration) and a cartel in Mexico.
Keen Double Bay scouts insist reps for the Bills empire and Surry Hills restaurant Toko have also been scouting sites in the suburb.
In another coup for postcode 2028, Hamish Ingham has left Banksii in the hands of his wife, Rebecca Lines (although he'll still be involved in the menu) and taken the role as group GM at Lotus Dining Group. Ingham's first new cab off the rank will be Lotus Double Bay, which opens on Cross Street on November 11.
Ingham will tap his Bar H days, working with chef Chris Yan on a menu described as "authentic Shanghainese dishes with a twist". Happy days.